Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Things I Don't Care About

- I don't care about Syria. I don't care if they blast each other to kingdom come. I'm sorry for the innocent bystanders, mainly the children, but if the people there are determined to annihilate one another, I don't think there is a damn thing we can do about it. We talk about how we must stop the brutal genocide that is happening there. It's our moral duty - but of course, our moral duty has more to do with oil and other geopolitical considerations than it does with people. Else why have we stood without lifting a finger as African country after African country wiped out whole populations of their people? Where was our moral duty then?

We have no clue who the various factions of rebels in Syria are, despite John McCain's faith in "his guy". But his guy appears to be no more likely to emerge as the ultimate winner than any one of several other rebel groups, some of whom are allied with Al Qaida, others with Hezbollah.

To tell you the truth, I don't care about the rest of the Middle East either except Israel. It would be different if I thought we could have a serious impact but I don't think we can. They don't like us and they'll never like us. We could help "Faction A" prevail in Syria and as soon as they'd consolidated their power, they'd start hating us again. Like Afghanistan. We provided weapons in their war with Russia. Afterwards, they protected Osama bin Laden, and then turned those same weapons on us.

If they don't like us, well, I don't much like them either. We sacrificed our children and our economy for Iraq. Did we create a democratic society there? Not so's you'd notice.

To make it even worse, we're being overtaken once again by a cold war mentality. We threaten to impose a no-fly zone; Russia threatens to send anti-aircraft missiles. War in Syria would be two wars at once - involvement in a civil war and a proxy war with another super-power. Isn't that how Vietnam began?

So, I say we get the hell out of the Middle East. Spend the money we're spending on war now on quickly developing alternative sources of energy so we don't need their oil. Let them duke it out on their own. Screw'em.

 - I don't care if the IRS targeted Tea Party groups and made life inconvenient for them -though you notice they all got their tax exempt status in the end. This is the difference between Democrats and Republicans. Democrats talk a good game but they always pull their punches. They just don't have the stomach for going for the throat like Republicans. I don't care because I don't even think there should be such a designation as a 501(c)4. They are a farce. Does anyone seriously believe Karl Rove's Crossroads GPS was designed to be an "educational" organization and not a blatantly political one? Ditto, many others, on the Democratic side as well. 

- I don't care if I never hear another word about Jodi Arias!

- I don't care what you think your Bible says about gay sex and/or marriage. Your Bible is only applicable to you, it doesn't get to dictate to the entire country.

- I don't care that the sequester caused delays for important people who fly. They should have to suffer at least a little for the hardships they imposed on other people. If we were going to re-visit the sequester consequences, it should have been in Head Start, food stamps, cancer research and treatment and the like, not whether Senators had to spend an extra hour in an airport.

- I don't care how much reverence anti-choicers say they feel for fetuses. Until they follow that up with an equal amount of reverence for the children who are already born, I don't believe them.


Saturday, May 25, 2013

Half-ful or Half-Empty?

Here's what I see as the difference between the two parties today. Democrats see America's glass as half-full, maybe even a little more than half-full. Meanwhile, Republicans don't just see the glass as half-empty, they see it is containing, at most, a few murky drops at the very bottom. Democrats are optimists. They believe our problems are somewhat easily solvable if only we would compromise and get to work. Republicans are pessimists. Their world consists almost exclusively of  conspiracy and cover up, of scandal and deliberate deceit and disloyalty. They seem to have been overtaken by a roaring case of clinical depression.

It isn't enough that they disagree with Barack Obama on various issues (even some on which they used to agree before he agreed with them), he has to the worst president ever!  He has to be Hitler! He has to be a secret Muslim! He has to be a constitution-shredder, and a gun-grabber! And besides that, Michelle is ugly! When the Obamas do the same things other First Families have done - play golf, go on vacation, wear designer dresses, have state dinners at the White House, these all become awful things. If the president travels to show his sympathy and support for hurricane or tornado victims, he is excoriated for showboating. Of course, if he didn't go, he'd be crucified for not caring.

Today's Republicans, or at least, conservatives, believe anyone who disagrees with them is a) stupid or b) deliberately unpatriotic. They recognize no middle-ground. They live in an either/or state of constant political warfare. They do not give the other side so much as credit for good intentions. They are all about "my way or the highway". No, not one single piece of gun control legislation, even the most innocuous, such as background checks. NO gun control regulations whatsoever! NO abortions under any circumstances! NO tax increases for any reason!

You'd think the party of no would want to say yes to something now and then, just for the sake of  variety, but it doesn't seem as if they ever do. NO on gay marriage, NO on immigration reform, NO on a jobs bill, NO on Equal Pay, NO on closing Guantanamo..... Their needle is stuck on a permanent NO.

Read their Facebook posts and you'll see that they live in a world that is uniformly brutal and ugly and oh-so-negative. They are surrounded on every side by moronic kool-aid drinkers and traitors who are out to snatch their stuff, most especially their guns. They recognize no positive signs that the U.S. is on the economic mend. If unemployment is down, it's because the Bureau of Labor is lying. If polls show Americans have more confidence, the polls are skewed. If the stock market is up, it's because of exactly the opposite reason you probably think - the big companies are all dumping their stock in anticipation of the coming depression, revolution, whatever. On the Bizarro conservative planet, the president and secretary of state wanted those people to die in Benghazi because, don't you know, they are secretly turning the country over to the Muslim Brotherhood. And Michelle visited the Saudi who really did the Boston bombings in the hospital, then helped him get out of the country. And, you know, of course, that Sandy Hook didn't really happen, it was all a fake out to act as a catalyst to stimulate calls for gun control.

What is their ultimate goal? Well, it appears to be impeachment, but failing that, perhaps they'll have to start a New Revolution. Because they are the only ones who love their country, the only ones who see the truth - that America is standing on the brink if we don't "take our country back" now.

How unutterably miserable they seem to be.

And I say, "cheers, Americans" - I'll toast you with my glass half-ful.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

What Will America Look Like After The Revolution?

I have recently come to the conclusion that the conservative side of America's body politic has been taken over by mass psychosis. Debating issues with them is like debating with the residents of a mental ward. It used to be we discussed things like whether Mitt Romney should pay more taxes or whether gays should be allowed to marry or the best way to resolve the immigration issue. Both sides tried to marshal their facts and conclusions to present to the other. No one's mind was probably changed but it was interesting and informative to see alternate views. All of us tried to be relatively courteous and respectful. That was before conservatives moved farther and farther in the direction of radical extremism.

I can't pinpoint exactly when it happened but somewhere along the line, I began to notice that my right-leaning debating partners no longer accused me of being simply wrong-headed in my thinking, now I was a retard or a moron or an idiot. Or even worse, I was a traitor who was in league with that Nazi (or that socialist or that Muslim-sympathizer or that Constitution-shredder or that ....) Barack Obama in wanting to destroy the country. Treason on the part of anyone who disagrees with them is now one of their favorite adjectives.

It didn't matter that I own guns, that I have guns in my house, that I have a gun permit, that I believe in the Second Amendment - the slightest deviance from the N.R.A. line means that you're a gun-grabber who believes in a repressive government. If you do not support guns in schools, in church, at athletic events, if you do not support more guns for everybody, regardless of criminal history, then you're on the side of the disloyalists. There is no middle ground. The newly-elected president of the N.R.A said that ALL Americans should have military style weapons and be taught to fight tyranny. But tyranny is in the eye of the beholder. ALL Americans include me too and I guarantee you that if they forced me to shoot, I'd aim for Ted Nugent.

If you do not believe that Benghazi is a worse scandal than Watergate and Iran-Contra and lying about weapons of mass destruction to start a war all rolled into one, then it is obvious that you want to to turn the country into the 21st century version of the Third Reich. If you do not believe Barack Obama is shredding the Constitution and threatening the very fabric of our society, then you have blinders on.

If you do not believe that Michelle Obama is too ugly (and black?) to be our First Lady or that 11 million immigrants should be deported or that gays should have the grace to go back in the closet where they belong like the Bible tells them to, then you're not a "real" American.

And what I find the strangest about all this is that these are not voices coming from ultra-right-wing websites. Some of them are personal friends. They are middle-aged women who live in middle-class houses in small town America. They work regular jobs. Some of them work for the government! They are mothers and grandmothers. None of them were ever political activists.

And yet, here they are, seemingly ready, eager even, to join the New Revolution. They truly believe America has to be saved from people like me. The fact that people like me constitute a majority of the population of the country sways them not at all because we are kool-aid drinking fools if we don't know about Obama's death squads and the black helicopters and the agenda of the "gun-grabbers" in anticipation of overpowering the population and turning us over to the Muslim Brotherhood (or whoever).

I've asked them to articulate the future they foresee if it all comes down the way they espouse. Ironically, conservatives are especially prone to posts revering soldier and cops. I've asked them if they realize that it would be those same soldiers and cops they would be firing upon if we engage in another civil war and not some shadowy Muslim army. Yes, the military and police contain some of the same political divisions as the rest of us. Some would undoubtedly join the rebel forces, but my guess is that most of them would remain loyal to the current government. So, it might very well be brother against brother (and sister) as it was during the last War of Northern Aggression, as the new president of the NRA calls it.That one lasted 5 years and cost hundreds of thousands of American lives. Do my friends anticipate the same for their new war?

Honestly, none of them seem to have thought very far ahead to what "taking America back" means in real life rather than Facebook posts. If they won, would we still be a democracy or have those of us who disagree with them proven our unworthiness to participate in the political system? Would they put liberals on reservations or in concentration camps? I know that sounds ridiculous but how do they see the country in their New American Order? None of them ever tell me.

One of my friends asked me, "aren't you afraid of what Obama wants to do to the country?" My answer: "no, I'm afraid of what you want to do."